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sivsoft

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Good day!
I suffer with the choice of a portable USB DAC. There are problems everywhere.
I would like a DAC at the sound level of a Cozoy Rei and above, with a regular 3.5 jack and a balanced jack with a sane price and availability. It would be nice to be with MQA. Also, to work normally, without falling off the sound.

Luxury Precision W2 - good, but it costs a lot, although I might spit and buy

Topping G5 is also expensive, although it is super by measurements, but the rapid decline in the frequency response is annoying, and also heavy and large

Hidizs S9 pro - seems to be good, but few reviews

Fiio KA2 - seems to be good in terms of measurements, but there are problems with distortion with low-impedance headphones
Fiio KA1, KA3 - few reviews

Moondrop dawn is good, but balanced is much better than unbalanced

Maybe I missed some other DACs. In general, I need your's recomendations and advice.

P.S. My headphones: Campfire Audio Andromeda (1 version).
 

Elitzur–Vaidman

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FYI Topping released a firmware for the G5 that changes the filter which completely eliminates the early roll off.
 
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sivsoft

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Cool! What about other DACs or is the G5 the best of the best? If the G5 were smaller, it would be even better

What about the G5 compared to the Cozoy Rei?
 

Kegemusha

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I have the Fiio q3, bought as 2nd hand at good price, I drive a HD560s, maybe another to add to the list?
 
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sivsoft

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Are there measurements for Fiio Q3? Where can i see this?
 

dufferdan

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Anyone know anything about this one? Helm Bolt DAC / Amp from Drop, hit my inbox today and seems interesting….edit to add, link to review of non-DROP version…


Image -10-2922 at 12.16 PM.jpg
 
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Matias

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There is the Moondrop Dawn in 4.4mm balanced too. Also consider the TempoTec Sonata E44.
 

Peterinvan

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iPhone 6 will not drive Cayin RU6

I tried max volume on the iPhone 6, and the RU6 just lights up, but no music. Using only the FLAC Player app on the iPhone.

I bought the FiiO KA3 for my phone. One third of the price.
Works well, but not the sound quality I get from the RU6 out of my iPad Pro USB-C.
 

Timcognito

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Hope you went to Review Index and typed in Dongle, Amir tested 38. I like my Musiland M2 and Truthear Crinacle Zero IEM combo but I'm not an avid HP listener. The price of this combo, musical quality and size allows one to travel and not worry if something breaks, is lost or stolen.
 

JanesJr1

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Good day!
I suffer with the choice of a portable USB DAC. There are problems everywhere.
I would like a DAC at the sound level of a Cozoy Rei and above, with a regular 3.5 jack and a balanced jack with a sane price and availability. It would be nice to be with MQA. Also, to work normally, without falling off the sound.

Luxury Precision W2 - good, but it costs a lot, although I might spit and buy

Topping G5 is also expensive, although it is super by measurements, but the rapid decline in the frequency response is annoying, and also heavy and large

Hidizs S9 pro - seems to be good, but few reviews

Fiio KA2 - seems to be good in terms of measurements, but there are problems with distortion with low-impedance headphones
Fiio KA1, KA3 - few reviews

Moondrop dawn is good, but balanced is much better than unbalanced

Maybe I missed some other DACs. In general, I need your's recomendations and advice.

P.S. My headphones: Campfire Audio Andromeda (1 version
I have experience with the Hidizs S9 Pro. It has surprised me with its ability to drive extremely difficult headphones (DCA Noire and Closed X with v. low impedance and sensitivity) over 100 db SPL with its balanced output, meaning it delivers current. This includes a sub-bass bottom-end like you'd get from a good desktop dac and amp. Technically-savvy ASR member StaticV3 has seen third party measurements of its power handling, which is 25% above the E1DA 9038s G3, itself a known source of high power for a dongle. (https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...ro-measurements-dac-dongle.34082/post-1193417)

Subjectively, I like it at least as well as my desktop JDS Labs Atom and Topping A50s/D50s stacks, and find the sound open and detailed. I recently used the single-ended output extensively in A/B comparisons with my Sundara headphones, and the SQ sounded the same as the nice balanced output. I am sure it has a maximum SPL that is lower than that for my desktop units, but I have never heard it strain or clip in normal use.* I've used several other dongles, and this one has been a delight compared to them all, including SQ which is at least equal to and often better than the others. An earlier version of the S9 is very favorably covered in the ASR review section, but the current version has a newer processor, more power and better mfr. specs.

It handles MQA. It is very compact, and consequently has no separate display or volume control, but also stays out of the way. It also has no battery, and so would depend on your phone or PC power supply. It is functionally a pure and simple dongle, but technically bats above its weight.

* I do use my equalization software to help me keep adequate real-time headroom with all my amps, but this has not caused any limit on practical use for the Hidizs. That said, I know Amir likes to make his earlobes waggle when he tests headphones at the highest SPL's, and I haven't tried that.
 
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sivsoft

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A huge thank you to everyone for the feedback and advice.
Looked. Moondrop dawn is good, but not available, Sonata e44 is the same not available.
Available Topping G5, Hidizs S9 Pro, Luxury precision w2, precision w1, fiio ka2 / ka3, fiio btr7, fiio Q7 also seemed to flash somewhere.
What is the best of these in terms of sound, especially in mobile use and in the evenings in stationary use from a computer?
Headphones so far only Andromeda.

P.S. Moondrop Dawn 3.5 is found. How does it if compare to the others in terms of sound?
 
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Matias

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sivsoft

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Yes. I found it. How does it if compare to the others in terms of sound? Compare with Topping G5, Hidizs S9 Pro, Luxury precision w2, precision w1, fiio ka2 / ka3, fiio btr7, fiio Q7.
 
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sivsoft

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If you compare E1DA 9038S Gen3 with Moondrop Dawn? And compare with Topping G5? Is it worth buying E1DA?
 

JanesJr1

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If you compare E1DA 9038S Gen3 with Moondrop Dawn? And compare with Topping G5? Is it worth buying E1DA?
I have never compared all these dongles, only the E1DA and the Hidizs. I will share my experience that for some reason, I have unpredictable drop-outs with the E1DA, as though some kind of protective circuit were triggering. I have to remove it and wait before it will work. I don't know if my experience is unique or a pattern with some other users. (That said, I have seen satisfied comments from other users in forums, and I know that StaticV3 on this forum, whom I respect, likes it and must know satisfied users.) I tried to get guidance on fixing it, unsuccessfully. I tried some tech solutions suggested to re-install the drivers, but it was complicated and seemed to make things worse, albeit perhaps because I didn't have the technical chops needed.

The Hidizs has just always worked flawlessly.

When the E1DA did work, it worked well; however, whenever I switched off between it and the Hidizs, I subjectively felt the E!DA had a darker, more closed-in sound, and the Hidizs was more open. A small difference, but I kept noticing it even when I wasn't looking for it.

Finally, having both balanced and single-ended connections in the same unit (the Hidizs) is a practical convenience to me, although someone else may not need it. They are both powerful dongles for difficult headphones, though the Hidizs is apparently about 25% moreso.

This is subjective on sound quality and only one user's experience on the dropouts, but I will say I got the E1DA first and wanted the E1DA to work.
 
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sivsoft

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I would like more opinions on the sound and performance of the fiio ka2. By the way, he is very good in measurements. Who listened, liked it?
 

tim98

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@sivsoft Absolutely in love with it pairing with Sony N3. It's also overkilled for this 16ohm IEM as I can only listen to 2-4 volumes on Windows.
For what's worth, I sold my Xduoo Link2 Bal right after getting the Fiio KA2.
 

poopy

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There is the Moondrop Dawn in 4.4mm balanced too. Also consider the TempoTec Sonata E44.
Am I correct saying that those dongles are pretty much the only ones with true balanced 4.4 outputs?
 

Jasperous

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I highly recommend the DDHifi T44C, it powers all my headphones and IEMs
 

Jimbob54

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Am I correct saying that those dongles are pretty much the only ones with true balanced 4.4 outputs?
No. There are many.

Luxury & Precision W1/W2, Moondrop Moonriver 2, Tanchjim Space, Whatever model Hidizs is up to now - no doubt a few hundred more if you scour Aliexpress.

Oh, and the most flexible dongle by a mile- the Qudelix 5k. Balanced 2.5mm (but 4.4mm to 2.5mm adapters are nor hard to find) , 3.5mm, USB C or LDAC bluetooth, 10 band PEQ across all sources etc etc
 
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